We have a desire to succeed, to meet every growing expectation. We do not rest and lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go. We miss the quiet that gives us wisdom. The pressure of frenetic activity is corrosive and has an effect on us and others. We push our bodies beyond what they are able to bear. We effect our children when we are too busy to give them comfort when they are hurt and afraid. We do damage to our spirits because we are too preoccupied to hear the still quiet voice of God seeking to nourish us.
Sabbath time can be a revolutionary challenge to a culture of mindless overwork. Sabbath is a compass point that directs us to remember what we know. It is a compass marker for ourselves so, if we are lost we can find our way back home.
Sabbath keeping helps us to remember that everything we receive is a blessing. It reminds us to remember all the blessings we have received. It reminds us to delight in the fruits of our labors and to offer thanksgiving to God.
“Sabbath honors the necessary wisdom of dormancy. If certain plant species, for example, do not lie dormant for winter, they will not bear fruit in the spring. If this continues for more than a season, the plant begins to die. If dormancy continues to be prevented, the entire species will die. A period of rest –in which nutrition and fertility most readily coalesce- in not simply a human psychological convenience; it is a spiritual and biological necessity. A lack of dormancy produces confusion and erosion in the life force” (Remember the Sabbath, by Wayne Muller).
Sabbath is a time for rest, it can be a Sunday, an afternoon, an hour, a walk, or anything that gives life, rest, and nourishment. It is a time of taking our hand off the wheel to let God be in charge, while we drink in a few moments of rest and delight.
Sabbath time gives us permission to stop and turn off the voice that that tries to fill us with shame saying work is important and rest is not. To practice Sabbath is to balance rest and work so that we do our work with a greater sense ease and joy bringing healing to all we encounter.
Sabbath can be our time of refuge, where we set aside a sanctuary in time, disconnect from the frenzy of consumerism, accomplishment, and consecrate our time to finding rest and healing in the Lord, as we abide in Him and He abides in us. When we are refreshed and nourished in the Lord we can then go out and nourish another.
May you nourish your soul with a regular Sabbath so your Compass, the Holy Spirit, can point you to who you can serve with the love of Christ.